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WTO members show restraint in trade restrictions despite ongoing economic uncertainties

WTO members introduced fewer trade-restrictive measures from mid-October 2016 to mid-October 2017 compared to the previous year, according to the Director-General’s annual overview report on trade-related developments presented to members on 4 December.

The report points out the need for WTO members to show leadership in reiterating their commitment to open and mutually beneficial trade as a key driver of economic growth and a major engine for prosperity and to continue to work together to achieve a successful WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires later this month.

WTO members also implemented 128 measures aimed at facilitating trade, including eliminated or reduced tariffs and simplified customs procedures. At almost 11 trade-facilitating measures per month, this remains significantly lower than the monthly average of 18 recorded in the previous annual overview report. WTO members continue to implement more trade-facilitating than trade-restrictive measures, a trend observed over the past four years.

Transparency and predictability in trade policy remains vital for all actors in the global economy. Collectively, WTO members must show leadership in reiterating their commitment to open and mutually beneficial trade as a key driver of economic growth and a major engine for prosperity. In preparing for the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference, members must continue to work together to achieve a successful meeting in Buenos Aires in December.